"Mind Games" is a song written and performed by John Lennon, released as a single in 1973 on Apple Records, catalogue Apple 1868 in the United States and Apple R5994 in the United Kingdom. It was the lead single for the album of the same name. The UK single and album and the US single were issued on the same day - November 16, 1973. The single was US certificated gold in the US in 1974. It peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 26 on the British singles chart. It also peaked at number 10 on the Cashbox Top 100. In Canada, "Mind Games" peaked at number 10. It is ranked as the 99th biggest Canadian hit of 1973.
This song, which was begun in 1969 and can be heard in the Beatles' Let It Be sessions, was originally titled "Make Love, Not War", a popular hippie slogan at that time. Another song, "I Promise", contains the melody that would later be featured on "Mind Games". The original Lennon demos for "Make Love, Not War" and "I Promise", recorded in 1970, are available on the John Lennon Anthology. Lennon finished writing the song after reading the book Mind Games: The Guide to Inner Space by Robert Masters and Jean Houston (1972). Lennon later encountered Masters in a restaurant and told him, "I am one of your fans. You wrote Mind Games."
In keeping with the original theme, the lyrics advocate unity, love, and a positive outlook. The lyric "YES is the answer" is a nod to his wife Yoko Ono's artpiece that brought them together originally. The song was recorded as Lennon split with her for his 18-month "lost weekend" with May Pang.